I want to talk about the art of gifting and what it can do for your business.
You should always give gifts to your clients, and we take it a step further and give gifts to our prospective clients as well. This year, we bought people either an Amazon Echo or nice headphones from Bose or Sony. Each gift was anywhere between $150-$400.
Why Giving Gifts Has a High ROI
Why give gifts? Because the recipients are going to remember you over time. It’s hard to forget someone who was especially helpful to you and gave you a gift out of the blue.
This idea sprouted from a book called the Giftology. The author, John Ruhlin, is in a group called Young Entrepreneurs Council (YEC) with me. There was a thread where people were talking about gifts in the Facebook group, and he chimed in.
John not only told me about the book, he gave me a free copy. And not just any free copy, but a carefully packaged one—a real gift. It came in a nice little bag with a handwritten note. When I opened the bag, there was another leather bag, and inside that was the book: Giftology: The Art and Science of Using Gifts to Cut Through Noise, Increase Referrals, and Strengthen Retention.
Today, when I need something amazing for my customers or for my employees and it has to be the best gift on the planet, I call John Ruhlin for ideas.
The Psychology of Gift Giving
The idea behind gifting is being thoughtful about the gift you give. Ideally, you should investigate someone ahead of time, maybe on their social media profiles or their website, and see what they’re all about, see what they’re interested in.
I’ve gotten really good responses from people, especially current clients, that they’re looking forward to longer-term relationships. What we’re going to test moving forward is researching the top 10 prospects that we’re looking to work with and giving them a nice and thoughtful gift.
You have to spend $150-$400 for a gift, either. The idea is that you’re trying to build goodwill, though you shouldn’t necessarily expect to get something back from it. Once you give without expectation, it just makes your life a lot easier. And it’s 100% worth the money. It’s the same thing as throwing a mastermind dinner, a happy hour, etc. You’re just building goodwill over time.
It takes time to build up your brand, especially when you’re giving away free content like podcasts, which aren’t face to face. For example, it took me 3+ years to really get the sort of engagement I wanted on Growth Everywhere. But the second time around, with Marketing School, Neil and I got things going a lot faster; we hit a million downloads in about four months.
Hey everyone, in today’s episode, I share the mic with Sol Orwell, the founder of Examine.com.
Listen as Sol shares how going from fat to fit led him to create a 7-figure nutrition business, how he built that business off of his Reddit followers, how Examine.com generates 100% of their revenue with just 3 products and why his quest for independence is the guiding principle to how he runs his companies.
01:20 – Sol is an immigrant who was born in Pakistan and has lived in Saudi Arabia, Japan, and USA—he is currently residing in Canada
01:49 – While in high school, Sol stumbled into virtual currency and MMO sales because of online gaming
02:14 – Sol also gained experience in domain names and local searches
02:53 – Examine.com was created because Sol gained weight and he wanted to analyze nutritional supplements
03:20 – Sol wants to make an impact on the world and share what he knows
04:03 – Examine.com’s focus today is how to generate consistent revenue and build their brand
04:20 – They are planning to have a product out this year
04:35 – Examine.com has been featured on many different media outlets
05:16 – The domain name is an asset and spending on it is a worthwhile risk
05:26 – When the site reached 10,000 visitors a day, Sol asked customers what they wanted and he responded
06:06 – Sol was able to build a subscription service and he connected with organizations that specialized in fitness and exercise
06:23 – Sol met his co-founders at Reddit and realized that people were always asking questions, but were not using the search function
07:04 – People were getting tired of answering the same questions and this is what caused Sol to build Examine.com
07:24 – Sol’s co-founder was 2013 Moderator of the Year
07:55 – Sol and his team announced in Reddit that they were building a site and people started linking to it
08:08 – Since they were already part of the Reddit community for a long time, people knew who they were and trusted them
09:37 – Content generation should NOT be the focus—it should be updating your own content and networking and building relationships
10:17 – It was easier to get people to link to them because of their strong community
10:57 – They are always pre-promoting
11:18 – What’s one big struggle you had in growing Examine.com? – People were cynical of who they were so they had to prove they were an authority
12:18 – Sol and his partner didn’t want the site to be about them, so they went with a generic brand
12:54 – Examine.com has researchers, editors/reviewers, copy editors and those who send the e-mails
13:26 – They do not work on rigid time schedules
14:03 – Examine.com also has doctors that they can consult
14:32 – How did you go about finding contractors? – Look for other people who are already doing the work, but who are unknown to others
15:13 – Sol looked for people who already have a site or a blog and are doing the research, but who may not necessarily have an audience
15:22 – Since they have already built their brand, people want to be associated with them
16:00 – Why the decision to start to move away from Examine.com? – I got into Examine.com because I needed to lose weight, but I am not the expert
16:57 – It has always been about finding the best people and providing them an opportunity
17:08 – Sol was able to move on from the projects because he has found people who are better than him
17:32 – When they were starting Sol’s partner, Kurtis, focused on the research while Sol did everything else
18:04 – Kamal is running Examine.com and he only met Sol after two years working on the site
18:38 – Sol pays others more than he pays himself and they become the face of the company
19:02 – Kamal is the face of the company and gets exposure everywhere
19:41 – Sol is currently working on speaking engagements, writing, and finding out ways to make an impact
20:12 – Sol wants to intercept social enterprise with entrepreneurship
21:19 – Sol wants to make a big impact and share the value of giving rather than the “me” approach
21:35 – For his speaking engagements, Sol talks about entrepreneurship
22:11 – In Mastermind Talks, you know who you are meeting with and the conversation is always about getting value
22:45 – There are also private invite-only events where you get to spend days with interesting people
23:31 – Doors open when you are more focused on meeting people rather than thinking about monetizing
24:15 – Eric got connected with Sol because of a conference that was recommended by Noah
24:40 – What’s one big change you made in the last year that’s impacted you or the business in a big way? – Sol uses a productivity journal and this helps him know what needs to be done the following week